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getting ready to tackle head gasket


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12 replies to this topic

#1 booth1

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:26 PM

ok so I just picked up a 97 legacy L wagon 2.2 auto. previous owner told me he was driving one day lost power and noticed the engine temp rising. when he got it off the trailer at his place he told me he noticed bubbles in the overflow tank and determined it was the head gasket.

after purchasing it last night I trailered it home drove it off the trailer and waited until this morning to check it out.

this morning I toped off the radiator, opened radiator the bleed screw, and put a little water in the overflow tank. immediately upon starting the engine I noticed bubbles in the overflow tank . I let it run to bring the engine to operating temp and open the t-stat. opened the bleed screw again and water bubbled out but never stopped bubbling. once I was satisfied that, under normal conditions, the engine would have been free of trapped air I reinstalled the bleed screw and let the engine run a while longer. while the bubbles never stopped i did notice the engine temp never went over the halfway mark on the temp gauge. while the engine was running I also noticed it has a slight misfire at idle. to investigate the misfire i removed and inspected all four spark plugs and noticed #3 was significantly darker with a rust like coating and wet threads.

now i am sure water is making its way into the #3 cylinder and i am going to remove the heads look for cracks and install new head gaskets.

 

My reason for this thread is to ask others who have had HG issues with the 2.2 for any tips they might have after their experience. P/Ns for gaskets, t-stats, timing belts, water pumps, etc..

also while i was researching i saw a post somewhere where someone insisted that people should only use Subaru HG's. Has anyone had issues with aftermarket parts? What other parts should i go straight to Subaru for? 

What are good websites for Subaru parts?

 

Thanks in advance!

-Mike



#2 upnorthguy

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

Many people get timing kits (belt, pulleys, water pump) from ebay (Mizumoauto is a good one for $136) or from Amazon.  

 

There are a number of dealers that sell OEM parts online, but I find the shipping is usually pretty expensive.  

For many Subaru parts, my best price is going to the dealer near me (maybe three miles) and having them order the part(s) and I pick up in a few days.  This works 90% of the time for me when I need Subaru OEM parts.  

Get a Subaru thermostat or Stant Xactstat (looks just like OEM-nice and big compared to el cheapos).



#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:13 AM

Felpro makes the 2.2 head gasket for Subaru. You can get them at most auto parts stores for alot less than a dealer and its the same exact part.

Expect there to be a fair amount of corrosion around the coolant ports on the head surface. This is generally what leads to the breach of the fire ring on the 2.2.
Getting the heads machined flat will remove most of the pitting.

If you can find a Gates 34012 or Stant Exact-stat, those are cheaper alternatives to a dealer thermostat.

The only thing you may really need from a dealer is the o-ring behind the oil pump, and the separator plate kit, if you plan to reseal those.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:27 AM

resurface the heads, use a quality headgasket only.

 

if it was overheated, check the timing belt covers, knock sensor, and other plastic parts close to the block for signs of significant overheating.  if there's any deformation of plastic you may want to consider another engine as EJ22's are cheap anyway.  or if it still has the original oil, have it analyzed for metal particulates so you don't end up resealing a motor with bad lower end bearings due to the overheating.  i've seen others do that before.



#5 booth1

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:46 AM

how are people resurfacing heads? machine shop only or does anyone have an awesome diy?



#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

how are people resurfacing heads? machine shop only or does anyone have an awesome diy?

 

yeah, people 'lap' them on a piece of plate/float glass with silicon carbide. I think there are even pics around somewhere.....

 

yeah, check; http://www.ultimates...+heads +surface


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 14 August 2014 - 08:38 AM.


#7 booth1

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:31 AM

what is with the grease seals that come with the timing belt kit? do i apply grease before installing them on the pulleys? or just press them on to retain the factory grease? does every pulley get one?



#8 MilesFox

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:36 AM

common convention would have you do both head gaskets even if only one has failed. The timing belt idlers should be sealed units pre greased. 

 

I have gotten away with not resurfacing the heads. A razor blade and wd40 does a good job at removing the gasket material. and a scotch brite pad does well to remove carbon. 

 

unless the engine got hot enough to boil the oil, it should be ok. The 2.2 does fare better than 2.5 with overheats. Sounds like you caught the head gasket before the engine has had a chance to cook itself. A temp spike is one thing, vs running the engine so hot it stalls out.



#9 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:40 AM

what is with the grease seals that come with the timing belt kit? do i apply grease before installing them on the pulleys? or just press them on to retain the factory grease? does every pulley get one?

 

I dunno what they are, but if you can post pics, someone will know.



#10 14D

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:08 PM

what is with the grease seals that come with the timing belt kit? 

 

Crank and cam seals? These come with a lot of the ebay timing belt kits.  Post a pic for confirmation.  

 

Get one of these to pull the old seals.  

 

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B000FPYW4K



#11 booth1

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:58 AM

That's exactly what they are. Thanks guys

#12 upnorthguy

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:29 PM

Crank and cam seals? These come with a lot of the ebay timing belt kits.  Post a pic for confirmation.  

 

Get one of these to pull the old seals.  

 

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B000FPYW4K

The seal puller 14D linked is awesome.  I was having a hard time getting my crank/cam seals out.  Ordered this puller and after I got it...20 seconds later the job was done (on all three!).



#13 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 12:30 AM

For resurfacing heads, you can do it yourself, as linked to above, or have a machine shop do it for you.

But don't skip it. That's the quickest way to get a repeat failure.

Also, check the block surface for uneveness. I know, a little overkill, but I like to make sure all surfaces are as close to flat as can be had.

Doing both HG's at the same time only makes sense as you have to pull virtually everything off to get to one as you do to get to the other.

Having the heads rebuilt when you have them off may not be a bad idea as the valve guide seals usually are allowing oil to seep past by this time.

This will help prevent excess oil loss post reseal.

 

Twitch






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